Introduction - Creek IndianJust who exactly were the Creek Indians, what was their culture like and how did they live? This mostly peaceful group of Southeast American Indian Tribes had roots in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Florida until they were forced out by other tribes and Europeans. They often referred to themselves as Muskogee or Muscogee. The Creek were known to wear highly decorated and sophisticated clothing. Like most Indian tribes, the men and women had specific roles and their kids learned their expected roles at a young age. Among the many more interesting facts about the history of these people include where they built their houses, what food they ate, and what weapons they used.
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Creek Indian General Facts and Information
- There are two separate Creek Indian tribes today, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama and the Oklahoma Creek Indians.
- A small group of Creek Indian descendants remained in their tribal land and currently live on a reservation which is 57 miles from Mobile, Alabama.
- The Battle of Burnt Corn in 1813 was part of the larger Creek War. It was initially considered to be a small skirmish, with the Creek Indians of Alabama emerging as the victors, but it ultimately resulted in the defeat of the entire Creek nation.
- In 1814 Andrew Jackson signed the Treaty of Fort Jackson which forced the majority of Creek Indians off their land. The few families who were able to remain had aided the U.S. government.
- Regular contact and trading with the Europeans and English settlers did not begin for the Creek Indians until the late 1600s.
- Multiracial children were the result of the Creeks intermarriage with the white settlers. This occurred frequently and the Creek wives were happy to teach their non-Indian husbands the Creek culture.
Creek Indian Cultural Facts
- The Creek Indians were not a nomadic tribe but rather set up thatched-hut houses in villages with a town square as the center of activities. It was here that community events such as dances and meetings took place.
- When a village got to big to manage, they simply split into two self-sufficient villages but kept close ties to one another.
- The Creeks evolving relationship with the white settlers had a negative impact on their ability to remain self-sufficient. While they were able to trade many goods with the settlers, they began trading for guns which changed their cultural way of hunting.
- Similar to many other Indian tribes, the Creek men were skilled hunters and protectors of their family. They relied on animals for both food and clothing.
- The women of the tribe did the housekeeping, farming and were the primary caregivers to the children. They were responsible for maintaining a variety of crops and gathered fruits, herbs and roots.
- The staple food of the Creek Indians diet was corn. They also ate a wide variety of meats including boar, deer, bison, turkey and fish which was plentiful during the summer.
- Common weapons included nets, spears, traps, bow and arrows, tomahawks, and war clubs.
- Early Creek jewelry often included boar tusks and antlers. The artwork they are most known for is their basket weaving, woodcarvings and glazed pottery.